The College of LAS, including the Department of Mathematics, is transitioning to the Teams telephony (phone and communications) system on Wednesday, July 12, starting at 3:00 p.m.

There have been several general campus announcements about the transition in the past weeks, so we have prepared the following to discuss some specifics about the change.

Who Can Use Teams?

Active university faculty and staff will be able to use Teams. Students are also eligible to use the Teams app, but they are supported by Technology Services.

Emeritus faculty and retired employees are not eligible for a University Teams license.

How do I get Microsoft Teams?

If you haven’t already, you will need to download and install the Teams app on your university laptop or desktop computer. If you desire, the Teams app is available for mobile devices (iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets).

If you need assistance downloading or installing the Teams app on your University computer, please email

The mobile version of the app can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store (for iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android).

The macOS Teams app requires macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS 12 Monterey, or macOS 13 Ventura. If you are running an older version of macOS on your university computer, please contact

The Windows Teams app requires Windows 10 or Windows 11. If you are running an older version of Windows on your university computer, please contact

Do I need to use the Teams app?

After July 2023, you must use Microsoft Teams to make or receive calls from your campus phone number. We recommend using the Teams app on your Mac or Windows computer and/or on your Apple or Android mobile device.

There is a web version of the Team app available: please refer to Technology Service’s knowledge base for more information.

Do I need an external phone?

No. Everything can be done through the Teams app. We do recommend an external headset (or related accessory). Information about requesting one is located below.

Can I get a headset or related device to use with Teams?

Yes. We have external headsets available for faculty and staff that would like them. Depending on your needs, we can look into speakerphones or wireless headsets. You may also use your laptop’s built-in microphone and speakers if you prefer.

We also have external webcams with built-in microphones if you need one for Teams and/or Zoom.

If you need an external headset or related device for Teams, please email your request to

Can I use my current phone?

Teams requires a Teams compatible phone. The compatible models are as follows:

  • Yealink MP50 (USB phone/USB handset)
  • Yealink MP54 (IP Phone)
  • Yealink MP56 (IP Phone)
  • Yealink MP58 (IP Phone)

If you have a compatible Yealink phone, you do not need a replacement device.

Refer to the table below to check IP phone compatibility with Microsoft Teams. If your phone is not listed in the table, check with Math IT to verify compatibility. 

Type of Phone What it looks like Compatibility with MS Teams
Yealink MP50, MP54, MP56, or MP58
yealink phones compatible with MS Teams
compatible, but see notes in next section
Aastra phones used in mathematics department
not compatible
Polycom Picture of Polycom phone not compatible
Plantronics phone used in mathematics department
not compatible

I would like to use an external IP phone or USB handset instead of making calls via the app interface. How can I get one of these devices?

Both Math IT and Technology Services recommend that you use the Teams app with your computer and/or mobile device. Calls can be made easily from the on-screen keypad and the app is also integrated with campus directory, making it very simple to look up and call other individuals on campus.

We understand that some users will want or require a physical phone device separate from their computer to make and receive calls. If you prefer or need an external handset or external IP phone, we will work with you to get one. But there are some limitations with the Teams-compatible external phones, especially for Mac users.

The following outlines some of the limitations:

  • The Yealink MP50 (USB phone/USB handset) is not compatible with macOS and will not work with Mac computers.
  • The Yealink IP phone’s software does not work on macOS. The IP phone will operate independently of the Mac and will require you to unlock the phone periodically by inputting your NetID password on the phone’s screen.
  • The Yealink IP Phone’s software does work with Windows, but it might require occasionally unlocking the IP phone.
  • The IP phone setup for both Mac and Windows users requires specific network setup with a wired network jack for each IP phone installed. IP phones cannot be installed without a network jack; that setup will take time and will be available by appointment only. Wait times may occur.
  • The Teams app will work on your laptop or computer even if you are off campus, but USB handsets and IP phones work only on campus and may not be removed from university property.
  • The Teams-compatible Yealink IP phones that were used with Skype for Business need to be flashed to make them Teams compatible. We do not believe we have anyone in Math using a Teams IP phone, but if you are, please contact us at

A Note about the Altgeld Hall Renovation

Though we still have no available timeframe for the move, we expect that users currently located in Altgeld Hall will likely be relocated soon. Because of the labor involved, Math IT will be limited in the level of service we can provide to Altgeld occupants prior to the move.

We will be prioritizing requests from users who require external devices for their primary work function (e.g., office administrators) or a documented accommodation, or who are already located in their temporary office space. Some users may need to wait until they are in their new location to receive this service.

Please also note that anyone with an IP phone or USB handset will be responsible for moving their device to their assigned office in the building that will replace Illini Hall, and configuring the network for IP phones will have to be repeated once again.

How to request an external IP phone or USB handset

If you would like an IP phone and you have read and understand the above limitations, please email your request to We will work with you to select a device and set up an installation appointment as appropriate.

I am working remote or off campus. Can I still use Teams to make and receive calls?

You may use your Teams app from your home or off campus to make calls, send IMs, or collaborate in Teams spaces with your colleagues. The Teams app requires only a working Internet connection and does not require a VPN connection.